Flying Lizard Motorsports Debuts New Porsche with Double Podium Weekend in Austin
Just one week after taking delivery of the 2019 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport, Flying Lizard Motorsports began the new SRO sanctioned GT4 America season with two podium finishes at Circuit of the Americas. The SprintX pairing of Michael Dinan (Am) and Robby Foley (Pro) showed an impressive performance all week long, earning a third and second place finish in the season opening-double header.
“We’re incredibly happy with our first race weekend,” said Program Manager Darren Law. “Both Michael and Robby did an excellent job in both races, and I know they’ll be a competitive pair all season long. Our guys got the new car up to speed very quickly, utilizing every lap of every session to make us strong for the races.”
Immediately upon delivery of the new machinery, the crew at Flying Lizard Motorsports promptly got to work preparing the car for the race weekend ahead. The car debuted strong in the practice sessions, closing out the final pre-qualifying session at the top of the GT4 America class charts.
Michael Dinan qualified to start race one eighth overall, and second in the GT4 America SprintX Pro/Am class. The opening race of the season went green under chilly and foggy conditions, continuing the weekend’s trend of mixed conditions throughout the sessions. Aiming to avoid a turn one traffic jam, Michael Dinan took the outside of turn one, giving himself ample room to cleanly make it through to turn two. As the front end of the field maneuvered through the corner, a BMW made contact with Dinan, spinning the No. 21 Flying Lizard Porsche. The rest of the field came through the turn, almost completely avoiding the sitting Porsche. After the field passed, Dinan safely rejoined the fight, chasing the field from 22nd position. He made quick work of regaining lost track time, passing his first two cars in his first five minutes of racing. He methodically picked his competitors off one by one, closing out his stint running in 17th overall.
The pit window opened and Dinan came in for his mandatory stop with 25 minutes of racing complete. Robby Foley took over the driving duties, rejoining in 17th position. He continued the Porsche’s climb up the charts, making it up to 14th as a full course caution interrupted the racing action. The caution period bunched the field back up, allowing Foley to utilize the restart to jump the field with 13 minutes remaining. Foley went back to green from 12th position with seven minutes to go, and broke into the top ten in the final two laps. The No. 21 Flying Lizard Porsche finished its season opening race third in class and ninth overall. A post-race penalty moved the Flying Lizard squad up one overall position following post-race technical inspection.
For race two, Robby Foley qualified the No. 21 Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport in third place overall, second in class. He showed an impressive start, racing up the 30 meter incline into turn one, taking the inside line. He jumped from third to first in the opening turn, leading Jason Hart and Trent Hindman through the first lap. Hart and Hindman proved to be tough competition, and charged forward, battling for the lead in the first 15 minutes of the race while Foley saved his tires and watched the fight from third. The race went under a brief full course caution when a car crashed near the pit entry, and the No. 21 Porsche slipped to fourth place on the restart after getting heavy pressure from the No. 2 Audi of Alec Udell.
The mandatory pit window opened, and the top four cars entered the pits in a train. Foley handed the Porsche over to Dinan, and a speedy stop by the Flying Liard crew brought him out in third place, gaining a position upon exiting pit lane. Up ahead, the No. 47 Porsche of Hart and Matt Travis missed the minimum required time to be spent in pit lane, resulting in a drive through penalty. The infraction moved Dinan up to second position overall, running first in the GT4 America Pro/Am class. Dinan put in consistently quick lap times, masterfully maintaining position until the competition heated up in the final two laps. Dinan caught the leader and closed the gap, and the two car battle for the lead quickly turned into a five car battle in the last lap. Dinan and the No. 21 Flying Lizard Porsche finished fifth overall and second in class, earning the second Lizard podium for the weekend.
From Austin, the team will head to St. Petersburg, Florida for the Grand Prix of St. Petersburg for rounds one and two of the Sprint championship. The Sprint format will feature only one driver per car, and each race will be shortened by ten minutes to a 50 minute window. Flying Lizard Motorsports holds five top five finishes at the famed street course, scoring podiums in 2017 with Rodrigo Baptista and in 2018 with Mike Hedlund. Race one and two of the Sprint championship will take place Saturday, March 9 at 4:00PM Easternand Sunday, March 10 at 11:20AM, respectively. All races will stream live on the GT World YouTube page. For event information, visit world-challenge.com.
I’m really happy with my first race weekend with Flying Lizard Motorsports and the new Porsche. Overall, we had a lot of success, given how new we are to this program. We’re looking forward to the rest of the season. We’ve earned two podiums and are looking strong heading into our next race weekend at St. Petersburg.
We capped off the weekend with a solid finish, second in class and fifth overall. It was good race for our championship. We played it relatively conservatively, just to get points. It was a good race in the front. It’s a brand new car to us. We just got it a few days ago. We’re happy to develop it quickly and get two strong results. We’ll take that to next week at St. Petersburg. Michael will run the Sprint races there, and I’m looking forward to the next SprintX race at VIR. We’re happy with our first race weekend and keep this momentum going.
About Flying Lizard Motorsports
Based out of Sonoma, California, Flying Lizard Motorsports is one of the most iconic sports car teams in motorsports, having celebrated six driver and team championships, as well as competed internationally at the 24 Hours of Le Mans eight times. The team currently races in Pirelli World Challenge, Porsche Pirelli GT3 Cup Trophy USA, and Porsche Club of America.
The Lizards burst on the American Le Mans Series scene in 2004, competing in the GT class until 2012. In 2013, the team moved to the GTC class, still competing in legendary events such as the 12 Hours of Sebring and 24 Hours of Daytona. In 2014, the team expanded its program to include running two Audi R8 LMS in the TUDOR Championship, and in 2015, again expanded the program to include two Porsches in Porsche Club racing. Flying Lizard closed out the season with a dominating win at the 25 Hours of Thunderhill with Toyo Tires, a win they repeated in 2016, 2017, and 2018. For more information, visit lizardms.com. Flying Lizard Motorsports has proven to be a championship contender no matter the race series or race car.